October 22, 2023

President's support for Israel causing strife within State Department: Report

President Joe Biden has been walking a fine line in recent days between showing strong support for Israel while pledging to provide aid for civilians in Gaza who have been caught up in the escalating conflict, but according to the Daily Caller, he is now facing a near mutiny at the State Department as a result.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has also traveled to Israel to demonstrate the administration's commitment to the country in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, has also drawn the ire of workers within the agency he helms.

Internal frustration builds

Citing a report in HuffPost, the Daily Caller described a sense of growing frustration in the State Department over what many there believe is a disproportionate White House focus on supporting Israel.

Staffers instead contend that more attention should be shifted to providing humanitarian aide to Palestinian civilians stuck in a situation not of their own making.

As one State Department source told HuffPost, “There's basically a mutiny brewing within State at all levels.”

Making matters worse, according to the outlet, are reports that a group of diplomats are in the process of writing a “dissent cable,” which is a communication declaring opposition to America's official foreign policy, which is sent to agency brass.

Paul departs

The internal disapproval of Biden's stance toward the Israel-Hamas conflict at the State Department has already resulted in a high-profile departure, namely, that of Josh Paul, who served as congressional and public affairs director at the agency's Bureau of Military Affairs, as ABC reported.

Last week, Paul resigned his position in protest of the administration's posture toward the conflict, subsequently posting on LinkedIn the letter he delivered to superiors explaining his decision, as the Daily Mail noted.

“In my 11 years I have made more moral compromises than I can recall, each heavily, but each with my promise to myself in mind, and intact,” Paul said.

He went on, “I am leaving today because I believe that in our current course with regards to the continued – indeed, expanded and expedited – provision of lethal arms to Israel – I have reached the end of that bargain.”

Though Paul declared Hamas' attacks on Israel to be “a monstrosity,” he also expressed his belief that “the response Israel is taking, and with it the American support both for that response, and for the status quo of the occupation, will only lead to more and deeper suffering for both the Israeli and the Palestinian people – and is not in the long-term American interest.”

Whether the latest rumblings about widespread discontent at State of the president's support of Israel leads to a deluge of similar resignations or amounts to little more than saber-rattling inside the agency is something that remains to be seen.

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